DRESSING FOR 5 DIFFERENT BODY TYPESApril 03, 2023
When she discovered that fashion for real life and real women didn’t exist, Kiya Tomlin created it. Her brand’s versatile, hand-sewn pieces are designed to fit and flatter women's bodies, no matter their shape.
While there are five basic body types — rectangle, inverted triangle, hourglass, pear and apple — each Kiya Tomlin piece is drawn, patterned, cut, sewn and fit to people, not measurements. Learn about these different body types, style tips for each, and inspiration when it comes to choosing wardrobe pieces .
Also called straight, a rectangle body type is not very curvy, with shoulder and hip measurements that are nearly the same, plus a straight up and down, undefined waist.
The key to dressing well for this athletic shape is to go for volume on top or bottom, but not both. For example, when wearing an oversized top shape, choose skinny or structured pieces on the bottom. With a form-fitting top, pick a wide leg pant or a flowy skirt. Belts around the waist, or structured jackets and scarves, can create volume on the shoulders. To create volume on the hips, try peplum tops or pleated pants .
Different styles that flatter a rectangle body type include: halter styles, racerback styles, scoop and round necklines, and strapless looks.
The inverted triangle shape features broad shoulders and narrow hips. The key for dressing this shape is to create a balanced silhouette — offsetting the broader shoulders, chest and back by adding curves and volume to the lower body.
Choose clothes that add curves to the hips and bottom — wide leg and flared pants — while creating a more defined waist and de-emphasising the upper body with fitted tops. To visually reduce the width of the upper body, choose necklines that are slim and long, such as a deep and narrow scoop, or U- or V-necks. Asymmetric styles also are flattering for this body type.
An hourglass body type is curvy, with a well-defined waist, bust and hip measurements that are fairly even, and fuller bust, hips and thighs.
The key to dressing an hourglass shape is to define your waist and accentuate your feminine curves. Think fitted silhouettes and shaped dresses. Add a belt over a top to emphasize the waist, or wear high-waisted trousers or skinny jeans.
Styles that flatter an hourglass body type include: form-fitting jersey knits, wrap tops, peplum blouses, and anything with a V-neck, round neck or boat neck.
Also called a triangle shape, this body type features a smaller frame on top and a relatively small waist with larger hips and bottom.
The key to styling this body type is to create balance by wearing volume-heavy but fitted tops and attention-grabbing accessories while keeping the bottom simple. Statement tops that draw the eye upward and highlight the waist, back or neckline can include: plunging V-necks in any silhouette, cowl necks, bell sleeves and scoop necks.
Also called round, an apple body type has broader shoulders and typically carries a little more in the midsection than an inverted triangle shape. Apple body types are generally well-proportioned, but not necessarily curvy through the hips and lack a well-defined waistline.
The key to styling this body type is to look for monochromatic outfits or those with small pops of color. Silhouettes that don’t have a structured waistline are flattering: A-line pieces, maxi styles, flowy tunics, relaxed button-ups and V-necks.